In Search of the Next Tech Titan
If China can break through on the global innovation map, then why not Australia?
Hear top VCs, Angels & Founders
discuss Australia's prospects to create the next big thing, the next unicorn.
HyperAnna, backed by
Here we come,
LA: March 19
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Robots Called Into Action In China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Chinese companies are rushing to deploy robots and automation technology as the coronavirus has spread throughout the nation.
As some 100 million factory workers return to China's automotive, consumer
electronics and smartphone makers, one clear, longer-term impact will be an emphasis on robotics and automation. Robotics can reduce labor costs and increase productivity - and prevent a recurrence of future plant shutdowns.
China has been undergoing a "robotics revolution." Now, the impetus is greater than ever to embrace automation or be left behind.
Chinese tech titans Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, JD and DJI are developing technologies that help to stop the spread of the virus. AI, facial recognition, speedy logistics channels, online medical consultations and even drones with cotton swabs are being used in China.
Tencent and Alibaba have a fever-checking app that assigns people a health rating by QR code. If a high rating, no entry. The New York Times is alarmed, and ponders if surveillance technologies will spread outside China. They probably will, but more slowly.
Venture Deals: China Picking Up
Chinese autonomous driving startup Pony.ai has bagged a $462 million, Series B round led by Toyota, at a valuation upwards of $3 billion. VCs in the startup include Sequoia Capital China, ClearVue Partners, IDG Capital, Morningside and Eight Roads. Pony.ai was founded in California in 2016 and later entered China. Among its credits: the first robotaxi for the public, in a partnership with Via and Hyundai.
Lightspeed Venture Partners and and its China affiliate have led a $42 million, third round funding of Chinese robotics and AI startup Laiye Technology, with Cathay Capital and Wu Capital following.
Sequoia Capital China has put a well-timed $14 million in Chinese industrial robot maker, Mech-Mind Robotics in Beijing, in a series B deal.
Southeast Asian ride hailing business
has banked $850 million from Japanese investors, including
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.
well funded by
in the region in 2018.
GGV Capital has led a $14 million, Series A follow-on investment in Beijing-based tax and accounting startup tax and accounting startup Rongyisuan, backed initially with $14 million from Sequoia Capital China in August 2019.
Turning to India, GGV Capital joined a Series C extension financing of $24 million in online tutoring startup Vedantu in Bangalore. Secondly, GGV led a $60 million funding of gold-backed lending startup Rupeek with Indian Internet entrepreneur Binny Bansal and Bertelsmann India Investments in tow.
India's foodtech unicorn
, an online food ordering and delivery startup based in Bangalore, has raised $113 million in funding led by existing investor, South African
Significantly, the deal included funds from Beijing-based superapp
another indication of the growing China-to-India tech and venture shift.
Online tutoring app
has snared $35 million from
to expand in SE Asia.
VC firm SOSV has funded AI-based content startup Instoried Research in Bangalore, which has an AI-based that helps brands to distribute compelling content using predictive analysis to increase customer engagement.
PepsiCo is expanding online in China, agreeing to acquire
Be & Cheery, a Hangzhou, China-based snack company that predominantly sells online, for $705 million from Shenzhen-listed health foods distributor Haoxiangni Health Food Co.
The coronavirus shut down most of the IPO market, with one exception - in Wuhan! Snack shop Bestore goes public through an online IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Eric Schmidt: Silicon Valley could Lose to China without the Federal government's help.
Dr. Schmidt is the chairman of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence and the Defense Innovation Board. He is the former chairman and CEO of Google. NY Times Opinion, Feb. 27, 2020
|Rebecca Fannin discusses COVID-19 effect on technology evolution